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11th December 2009

Winter training – this time…Cross Country

This week saw a few of the players who are still in the North East travel up to Gosforth Park to take on a cross country trip trail course.

The lads met on a crisp December morning with temperatures still in minus figures. A discussion in the car park about the 37 degree temperatures in Sydney did little to warm up those cold hands as the final couple of participants arrived.

With the temperatures still at freezing point the lads were eager to get started, and Mike King jogged everyone around the course to show them the obstacles they would soon face. With short runs between small obstacles such as monkey bars, balance beems, high bar (expertly negotiated by Ben Harmison!) hurdles, parallel bars and the “over under” bar, the lads were ready to go. In addition to the obstacles there was a steep (and extremely slippy!) muddy bank to run up to test the legs, and footwear, of the lads at the end of the run.

Will Gidman proudly volunteered to go first as he shot off into the woods with the rest following at regular intervals. After two laps of the course Mike King took everyone to a longer hill run where the lads had to run full pace up the hill. Only when they reached the top they found they had to do the hill run three more times. By the end of the fourth run the lads had definitely warmed up.

The morning wasn’t finished there though as everyone went back to the obstacle course for two more laps…Callum Thorp and Ben Harmison were the brave ones to jump the stream to get back to the course, though both ended muddier and wetter than those who chose the bridge route.

Everyone set off on the obstacles again for two more laps as Mitchell Claydon got the team spirit going by abandoning the staggered start as everyone completed the last lap together.

This was an excellent way to mix up what can be an otherwise uneventful training period for players. This was a great way to test fitness with the physical challenges designed to work the whole body. Mike King has several other challenges planned for the new year to get the lads ready for the new season as Durham try to win the LV= County Championship for the third successive season!